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The Red and Black softball team was in Tuscaloosa on Friday for a clash between the country’s two top-ranked teams. In a pitchers’ duel, No. 1 Georgia came up short against No. 2 Alabama in a one-run game. Alison Owen absorbed the loss, in spite of spending six stanzas in the circle, during which she struck out eight of the 23 batters she faced and conceded only four hits, two bases on balls, and two earned runs.
Owen was outdueled by the Crimson Tide’s Kelsei Dunne, who ran her record to 12-1 in an outing in which she had a perfect game going into the sixth inning. A one-out walk drawn by shortstop Laura Trout on a payoff pitch produced the Bulldogs’ first baserunner, and, after center fielder Taylor Schlopy likewise drew a base on balls on a 3-2 count, left fielder Megan Wiggins broke up the no-hitter and the shutout alike with a run-scoring single through the right side.
That score halved the deficit, as Alabama had drawn first blood in the third canto, when a leadoff walk followed by a double generated a run, and the Tide extended their advantage in the fifth frame on a solo home run. In the end, the home team doubled up the visitors in runs (2-1) and hits (4-2) in an errorless game.
The second contest of the three-game set is scheduled to begin at 8:00 this evening, with television coverage to be provided by ESPNU.